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Steve Hoskins to leave tour

Steve Hoskins, a Pinellas County bowler who has won both fame and fortune on the PBA tour, continued his success this past weekend. Tuesday, he said he'll leave the PBA tour. Last Saturday on national television, Hoskins and partner Phil Ringener of Big Springs, Tex., finished second to Bob Benoit and Del Ballard Jr. in the $125,000 PBA Beaumont, Tex., Doubles Classic.

"That most realistically was my last PBA national stop," Hoskins revealed Tuesday from his Tarpon Springs home.

"After weighing all that has happened in my 2{ years on the tour, I've decided to hang it up and go to school," Hoskins said. "It took nearly a year to make the decision. I had set a pretty high money-earning mark at the beginning of this season and I almost made it. But that's not the reason I'm quitting.

"I'm extremely pleased about how I bowled on the tour, the things I learned and how I handled everything. Now it's time to move on to other things."

Hoskins is going to school fulltime, the college and the major yet undecided. "It all depends on several things, especially where my girlfriend, Kelly Gore, goes to work." Kelly is working on a masters degree at Florida State University. She and Steve have been together four years.

Hoskins, 22, was the 1989 PBA Rookie of the Year after earning nearly $40,000 his freshman year on the tour. His highest finish before last Saturday was second at Austin, Texas, last year. Hoskins cashed in more than 70 percent of the events he entered. He earned more than $120,000 in his pro venture, he said.

"The hardest decision was to give it up at a time when I was most successful," Hoskins said. "I don't foresee going back (on tour), but I'll bowl the U.S. Open because I'm eligible, maybe the Florida stops and certainly the PBA regionals."

Hoskins will bowl with Mark Steighner of Tarpon Springs in this weekend's PBA Southern Regional Doubles Championship at Largo Lanes beginning Saturday.

Palmetto's Kent Wagner and Sarasota's Gil Sliker won the title last year at Hudson's Leisure Lanes. Tampa's Tom Crites and Wauchula's Larry Barwick are three-time winners and probably will return. More than 120 entries are expected.

Competition starts Saturday morning at 8 with the cut to the top 16 or 24 on Saturday night. Sunday's competition also begins at 8 a.m. with the finals about 3 p.m. There is no admission charge.

Entry fees for this Friday night's pro-am are $25 for singles, $45 for teams, $8 for seniors and $7 for juniors. Squad times are noon, 3, 6 and 9 p.m. Team entries are a first for this regional.

Women's regionals, too? The Ladies Professional Bowlers Tour (LPBT) last week named Sonny Carr of Athens, Ga., as its new southeastern region tournament director.

That's good news for Florida women bowlers who are looking for tougher tournament competition on a level just below the women's tour.

Carr talks like he's got the southeast events ready to go. "We have seven or eight regionals pretty well set, two of them in Florida," Carr said. "When we finalize them, we hope to have applications for the regionals at major centers in the southeast."

Entry fees and sites should be announced in the next three weeks, Carr said. The region covers seven southeastern states. Interested bowlers may contact Carr at 404-548-1028 in Athens, Ga.

WIBC Championship update: Shirley Piper and Rhoda Custer of Waynesboro, Pa., took over the lead in the Division II doubles with a 1,150 total. The tournament ends June 20.

Campbell nominated: Largo's Roger Campbell is the first nominee received for the 1990-91 Times' Pinellas County Amateur Bowler of the Year.

During last season, Campbell rolled a four-game scratch series of 1,103, a possible state record. He rolled six 300 games and an 845 and 822 series. Campbell averaged 229.5 in the Southtrust Scratch Trio League at Liberty Lanes.

Nominations may be made by any sanctioned Pinellas County bowler, league president, secretary or proprietor.

Nominees may be male or female, senior, regular or youth bowlers who are sanctioned in Pinellas County. They must have bowled the full 1990-91 season.

Send a short bio on your nominees to: Phil Gulick, 8495 Magnolia Drive, Seminole, FL, 34647. Nominations must be received by July 1.

Around The Lanes: Tampa's Lucy Giovinco won the state Team USA-92 competition for the first time last weekend in Orlando. She advances to the regional, which she's won twice before, June 29-30 at Montgomery, Ala. The Junior Bowlers Tour visits Countryside Lanes again June 23 for a youth-adult handicap team tournament with a $25 entry fee. The St. Petersburg Bowling Council's Champion of Champions Team Tournament is this weekend at Crossroads Kenneth City Bowl. Hudson's Linda Woods, two-time reigning women's intercollegiate champion, finished 27th in the U.S. Open's Women's Tournament last week. NABI Club winners last weekend were John Adt of Fort Myers at Palmetto and St. Petersburg's Eric Havener at Auburndale. NABI is at AMF Clearwater Bowl, Lakeland, Sarasota and Ocala. The American Wheelchair Bowling Association's (AWBA) 30th annual national championship is June 24-29 at Largo Lanes.

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